When a playoff series begins in any sport, the first thing that is looked at is the home court (field) advantage. In the case of the 2012 Celtics‘ first-round matchup, though the Celtics are seeded higher due to winning the Atlantic Division, the Atlanta Hawks hold the advantage with a slightly better record. No one will claim the NBA is perfect.
In just about any series that gets to a Game 6, things always seem to be in favor of the team that has the 3-2 advantage. Winning back-to-back (or back-to-back-to-back for the Hawks who were down 3-1) crucial games for the team down 3-2 just seems an almost impossible accomplishment.
The Celtics are hoping to holy hell that this rings true tonight.
To most Boston fans and those in Vegas, Game 5 was somehow favored to the Hawks following the drudging the C’s put on Atlanta in Boston in Game 4. Vegas had Boston GETTING 1.5 points, which worked out for the Green (pun intended) with the Celtics losing Game 5 by a single point in a crazy final 10 seconds. If you decide to bet on the Celtics in Game 6, you better believe home court will be a factor.
With each player in the lineup having shown glimpses of greatness, most of the talking heads of the NBA media have started to put Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat already.
There is no doubt tonight will be a huge test for both the Celtics and Hawks. Game 6 will either clinch the series for Boston and give them a few days to rest before the next series or it will give Atlanta a massive sway of the momentum heading back to Atlanta for Game 7, and no one can like those odds for Boston.
We can only hope that the Big 4 (3.5? What are we calling them these days?) realize the dire need to win tonight’s game and put it all on the floor at home with a raucous crowd and get one win closer to raising Banner 18.